Living The Lists

IMG_1723I have had more than a few conversations over the past couple of weeks about living vs. list making.

What does it really mean?

What is the difference?

Is it possible?

All are questions I have been asking myself and letting it roll around my brain.

What does it mean? For me, it actually means enjoying living.

I had some ideas or thoughts, put them on a list, took action and made it happen. Sounds simple (not always the case of course).

What isn’t simple for me is to actually enjoy the creation. Huh. Who would of thought…all the time and energy, devotion, will power, etcetera and then it manifests and then the letdown happens.

So I have been trying to be mindful and pay attention to this so that I actually enjoy the journey. Instead of being annoyed by things on the list and that “I have to get this done,” am I choosing to enjoy this experience or not? It is a choice I can make if I want to –to enjoy the steps on the journey. It’s been rather fun to work with this idea and to choose to do something different and to relate to it in a more joyful way. What a concept. Life doesn’t have to be all suffering. 🙂

What is the difference between living and list making? I am starting to think and feel that the lists are the path to creating a life we want to live.

They are a starting place.

Especially if we are trying to change habitual patterns that are not serving us anymore and we are in the unconscious rut.

Is it possible to live the lists? I think so at least I want to believe it. So I am experimenting (see below) and trying/testing out the hypothesis so to speak.

What is it really like to live the way I say I want to live? You mean I can choose what I would like to do with my time and energy consciously? How freaking awesome. I feel more alive and more aligned with my values and what I want to create in my life when I make conscious choices. WOOOHOOO ‘bout time!

What would it be like and feel like for you to live your lists? What if you chose to think about or relate something in a different way? I am curious to hear how that goes for you.

10 Questions To Help Let Go

IMG_0670Happy New Year’s Eve!

The New Year 2016 is rolling in, have you thought about what you would like to roll out and let go of? Before you can plan on what you would like to accomplish, work towards, or change in 2016 the first step is to let go.

Let go of what you may ask? Maybe attitudes, beliefs or habits that are getting in the way of you creating the life you want to live. Can and will you take some time during this transition (from 2015 into 2016) to get quiet and really listen to what you are yearning to create for yourself? The following are some questions I asked myself to help me let go of things in my life that aren’t working for me anymore.

1.  In what areas of my life did fear get in the way?

2.  In what areas of my life am I in denial?

3.  What states of mind or emotional states do I keep engaging in or acting out that don’t serve me?

(examples: anger, negativity, pettiness, bitterness, judgment etc.)

4.  What have I not forgiven myself for?

5.  What are my regrets, what do I wish I had done differently?

6.  What resentments or anger am I still hanging on to?

7.  What are the coulda/shoulda/woulda beens I am still recycling in my mind?

8. What am I tolerating that needs to change in order for me to move forward?

9. What is the decision I have been avoiding?

10. Who drains me and do I need to let go of this or these relationships?

I suggest taking some time with these or whatever questions you come up with to help you get clear about what you want to create for yourself.  By bringing mindfulness and intention into this process you can make different choices in the new year. Otherwise, you may keep getting “more of the same”  in 2016.

Give yourself this gift on the last day of 2015- to really think deeply about and let go of what is not serving you or working for you anymore. If you have the opportunity to get quiet and hear yourself you may be surprised by what comes up!

Merry Christmas!

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Puppies’ Christmas
~ Anon

It’s the day before Christmas
And all through the house
The puppies are squeaking
An old rubber mouse.
The wreath which had merrily
Hung on the door
Is scattered in pieces
All over the floor.
The stockings that hung
In a neat little row
Now boast a hole in
Each one of the toes.
The tree was subjected
To bright-eyed whims,
And now, although splendid,
It’s missing some limbs.
I catch them and hold them.
“Be good”, I insist.
They lick me, then run off
To see what they’ve missed.
And now as I watch them
The thought comes to me,
That their’s is the spirit
That Christmas should be.
Should children and puppies
Yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy
That should come with this day?
Could they bring the message
That’s written above,
And tell us that, most of all
Christmas is love.

Clear Out The Mental Clutter

IMG_1323In my last post I wrote about self-sabotage and how it can show up as taking action and that it’s really distraction in action. Instead of focusing on taking action to further your goals you are taking action to get your laundry done, cleaning your house, or grocery shopping. These are also important “to-do’s” but not at the expense of your life dreams.

To better understand self sabotage, let’s go a little deeper and look at how habitual thoughts/thinking can also self-sabotage our best intentions and well laid plans.

These are some (and not all) of the negative habitual thoughts that may come up when you are trying to create the life you want:

I don’t deserve…

I am not good enough…

I don’t have the skills to…

“They” have more experience than me to….

“They” have more money than me to….

I don’t have the money to do this…

Look at what so and so accomplished/created…

All of these statements have one thing in common they come from a lack of mindset. I find that when I am stuck in a lack of mindset nothing seems possible, good or joyous. This mindset usually brings up doubt, fear and a sense of hopelessness for me and I have a hard time moving forward.

How do I move forward? I bring mindfulness and awareness into the moment.

The first step I take is to pay attention and bring mindfulness to how I am feeling in my body. Am I feeling crabby, annoyed, tired or frustrated? If so, I get curious about that and check in to see if I am really feeling that way or is it habitual negative thoughts and thinking patterns that are influencing how I feel.

More often than not, I am thinking negative thoughts and need to focus on cleaning up these habitual thought patterns that don’t serve my well being or my life dreams. In essence, these habitual thoughts and thinking patterns are a form of self-sabotage so that I don’t move forward in life. I continue to repeat behaviors that keep me stuck or blocked around moving toward my goals and dreams.

As crazy as it sounds, sometimes we are so comfortable in this state of negative thinking that we sabotage ourselves to stay in it! Why? This is where fear comes in; fear of the unknown, fear of something different, fear of not being able to control our lives…the list goes on and on. Fear lives because we feed it with our negative thinking, negative thoughts and with our comfort around staying the same (even if it isn’t serving our best intentions!)

In these moments, I practice bringing mindfulness and awareness to choose better feelings and thoughts. This process includes thoughts that are not from a lack of or negative mindset. This is important to remember that you do have a choice around what you think about and what thoughts take up a lot of your mental space. So why not choose abundant and positive mindset?

This does not mean being false to yourself about how you feel, it means choosing thoughts that feel better in small increments to create an abundant and positive mindset! It also means paying attention to what is going well in your life and acknowledging it! As you begin this process of cleaning up your thinking and your habitual thought patterns you also begin to self-sabotage less. You aren’t feeding and sustaining the negativity and lack of mindset that is comfortable and doesn’t want to change.

I want to challenge you this week to pay attention to what kind of thoughts take up most of your mental space and lead to self-sabotage. How did you bring mindfulness and awareness to this process? I’d love to hear about your experience, please leave a comment.

Do You Have An Attitude of Gratitude?

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Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating in the U.S.!

Developing an attitude of gratitude has not come naturally to me and it is something I try to cultivate daily through mindfulness, creativity and my meditation practice. When I am truly in a state of gratitude my whole outlook on life shifts radically!

Did you ever notice when you smile or you are friendly it comes right back to you? Other people smile back at you or engage in conversation with you. You have a choice around what kind of energy you want to put out there and what you want to welcome in—will it be gratitude, appreciation and joy or will it be negativity, blaming and joylessness?

Making the choice of what energy you put out will make a difference and impact you in so many areas of your life especially in regards to creativity. Have you ever wanted to create when you were in a truly negative space? Probably not, you may have wanted to throw something or crawl under a rock.

Your mental state effects your emotional state and that effects what actions you take moment by moment, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly…you get the idea.

When you choose thoughts of gratitude and appreciation, don’t you feel more alive, more connected, receptive and more open hearted? I don’t know about you but when my heart feels more open I also feel way more inspired about my day and how it will unfold. I am more enthusiastic about everything and love engaging in creative activities like painting or writing while in this state.

How do you develop an attitude of gratitude?

When you wake up first thing in the morning are you dreading your day? Is your first thought; I am tired…I don’t feel good…I can’t believe I have to get up.

What if you woke up and thought-This is great! I am alive today! (It’s so easy to take the fact that you woke up and you are alive for granted). Having this be your first thought, This is great! I am alive today! Instead of the other ones I mentioned can connect you to the present moment. You then have the opportunity to make choices about the tone, feeling, and attitude you would like to carry throughout the day.

Some of the ways I keep developing this attitude of gratitude is by giving thanks or appreciating people, places, and nature consistently through the day. This can be thinking it or actually writing it down in a journal. Also, being mindful, paying attention, coming back to the present moment and realizing what a gift it is to be alive!

All of this excitement and good feeling can be used to fuel your creativity and whatever you are working on. It’s much more exciting to be aware of your surroundings, feel inspired by them and know that you have the opportunity to create whatever you want!

How does an attitude of gratitude impact your life and creative pursuits?